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Angel Appreciation event highlights group's achievements

October 17 was celebrated as Angel Appreciation Day to honor hundreds of volunteers and donors who help the Angel Society raise funds through their popular thrift store, the Angel Shop, located at the corner of Main Avenue and Aviation Road in Fallbrook.

The Angel Shop was the site of the philanthropy’s celebration in raising upwards of $2.6 million for the community since the group’s inception in 1978.

The event paid special tribute to past benefactors who helped make it possible for the group to purchase its present location at 1002 South Main.

Angel Society board member Billie Foli pointed out a new ‘Donor Wall,’ which was installed this year at the entrance to the shop and dedicated to individuals who have made financial contributions to the Angel Society ranging from $250 to more than $10,000.

In addition, the event included a choral performance by the Fallbrook High School Madrigals, followed by several presentations by representatives from community organizations that have received financial or other support from the Angel Society over the years.

Among them, Anne Burdick of Keep Fallbrook Clean and Green thanked the Angel Society for noting “the value of our battery recycling program from the very beginning.”

As a result, an estimated four tons of batteries “have not ended up in our landfills,” Burdick said.

Pat Peterson of People to People, a local agency offering free employment services, credited “Angel power” for its success, while Pat Braendel, head of the Fallbrook Citizens’ Crime Prevention Committee, acknowledged that the Angels have helped the committee achieve its goal of reducing gang activity in the community.

“This would not have been possible without the Angel Society,” Braendel said. “They started with us when no one even knew who we were.”

From thrifty shoppers to collectors, struggling students to the down-and-out, patrons of the Angel Shop have scooped up some amazing deals over the years, as noted by Fallbrook Princess Destiny Altvater, who recalled her favorite shop find: vintage Chanel sunglasses she purchased for $2.

Fallbrook Honorary Mayor Gail Martin also told how she “just bought a new jacket at the shop” and promised to “get more involved with this organization in the future.”

Over the years, funds generated primarily from Angel Shop proceeds have helped provide numerous opportunities for young people and supported resources for working mothers as well as women who are victims of domestic violence.

The group has also supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of North County, the Fallbrook Food Pantry and the Senior Center, as well as its Senior Nutrition Program.

“We help the young, the old and the in-betweens,” said Marilyn Miller, the group’s second vice-president and philanthropy chair.

The Angel Society has also enriched the community through a major contribution of $50,000 toward reconstruction of the Fallbrook Library.

“We’re very proud of that,” said newly elected society president Gloria Seelye.

Run entirely by volunteers, the store is open every day except Sunday, offering for sale ‘gently used’ clothing, household goods and other merchandise – even furniture.

There is also an upstairs ‘boutique’ stocking an array of formalwear for men, women and children, as well as assorted bolts of fabric, linens ranging from towels and bedding to curtains and tablecloths and more.


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